The Use of Mediation in Settling Patent Disputes

Thorsten Bausch, Partner, Hoffmann Eitle, Germany
Friederike Heckmann, Senior Patent Counsel, Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH, Germany

Multinational patent disputes are highly complex as they frequently deal with complicated technical facts and arguments that must be presented in numerous jurisdictions with different legal systems and jurisdictional traditions. Court proceedings are often lengthy and expensive, and frequently there is a considerable risk of obtaining an unfavorable decision in at least one jurisdiction. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods are an attractive and powerful alternative to traditional patent litigation. Mediation, as one of the ADR methods, offers the involved parties the opportunity to settle all related disputes with the assistance of a mediator in one fell swoop, reaching a global settlement and achieving immediate legal certainty in all jurisdictions involved. Despite these obvious advantages, it remains that mediation is not as extensively used in patent matters as it could be. This article aims to illustrate the characteristics of mediation in a patent dispute, as well as the advantages of mediation over traditional patent litigation as well as its limitations.

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Germany Arbitration Agriculture December 2018 Vol.11, No. 45, Autumn 2018

Thorsten Bausch

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Dr. Thorsten Bausch is a senior partner at the IP law firm Hoffmann Eitle with offices in Munich, London, Milano, Madrid, Duesseldorf, Hamburg and Amsterdam. He is co-head of Hoffmann Eitle’s chemistry group and concentrates on chemical and biotech patents, with a particular emphasis on litigation (both cross-border and national), oppositions, appeals and alternative dispute resolution. His main technical expertise is in the areas of pharmaceuticals, polymers and immunology. Dr. Bausch has been involved with numerous cases before the EPO Opposition Divisions, Boards of Appeal, including the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the German Federal Patent Court, the German Federal Court of Justice, and the European Court of Justice. He is the editor of "Nichtigkeitsrechtsprechung in Patentsachen" (German Patent Nullity Cases), a four-volume collection of decisions of the Federal Patent Court and the Federal Court of Justice on patent nullity matters; author of numerous articles on German and European patent law in renowned journals and a frequent lecturer in and outside of Germany on patent law subjects. In addition, Dr. Bausch regularly blogs on www.kluwerpatentblog.com

Friederike Heckmann

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Dr. Friederike Heckmann is a senior patent counsel at Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH in the area of Crop Science. She is mainly focusing on global prosecution, litigation and mediation, and has special expertise in the area of SPCs. She graduated in chemistry from the Philipps-University of Marburg and University of Cambridge, and obtained her doctoral thesis from the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich. In 2005 she started her career in the IP business, working for a well-known patent law firm in Munich. After 10 years in private practice, she changed position and began working for Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH. Dr. Heckmann is qualified as a German and European Patent Attorney.

Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH

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Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH is an affiliated Company of Bayer AG handling the entire IP.

Hoffmann Eitle

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Germany Arbitration Agriculture December 2018 Vol.11, No. 45, Autumn 2018